• February 04, 2022

Donna Covey Injured in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-20 in Harrison County, TX

Harrison County, TX -- January 11, 2022, 63-year-old Donna Covey was injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 20 in Harrison County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:00 p.m. on I-20 near Farm to Market Road 450. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner semi-truck was towing a trailer west on the interstate in the outside lane. Behind the truck, Covey was driving a Toyota 4Runner in the same lane.

Reports indicate Covey failed to control her vehicle's speed and crashed into the back right quarter of the semi-trailer with the front-left of her SUV. The Toyota then came to rest near the impact site, while the truck pulled onto the shoulder a short distance to the west.

Covey suffered serious injuries in the collision. The truck driver was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Donna Covey Accident on I-20 in Harrison County

I often have to deal with people's common (but mistaken) belief that the rear driver is automatically at fault in a rear-end accident. That may feel true because of how often police conclude something to that effect, but it's not as much of a given as folks think. Before deciding what's to blame for the collision in Harrison County, it's important to consider whether any other factors--things not noticed or considered in the preliminary investigation--could have played a part.

Police may just rubber-stamp "failed to reduce speed" on their reports and consider the job more or less done, but what if something else was actually responsible for the victim's injuries? For instance, how fast was the victim traveling as she approached the truck? What about the truck itself? Was the victim watching her surroundings and aware of the truck ahead on the road? If not, why not? Did something else have her attention? Was her vehicle in good working order--brakes, safety equipment, etc? Could visibility, road conditions, or weather have played any part? Is it possible the truck braked with no warning ahead of the SUV?

Donna Covey Injured in 18-Wheeler Accident on I-20 in Harrison County, TX

I don't mean to overcomplicate things or point any fingers. I only know as much as anyone else about what happened. My problem is that the current explanation doesn't seem reasonable without context; "failure to control speed" is more often an effect than it is a cause, so why didn't the victim slow down? That's one of several crucial details that I'm not convinced law enforcement will spend any time learning. If I'm right then it may be necessary to have independent investigators look more closely. They might just find or confirm a simple explanation, but only after the job is done right can anyone be sure. At the very least the victim deserves the benefit of the doubt unless clear evidence is found that suggests otherwise.

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